Some of the night market’s vendors discuss the annual event
By LORENA ALVAREZ — firstname.lastname@example.org
FoodieLand Night Market is a festival featuring over 170 vendors whose food varies from Mexican to Korean to Salvadorian and Filipino cuisines. Vendors such as Birrieria San Marcos, who specialize in birria de res, a beef dish from Jalisco, Mexico, as well as drink, dessert and retail vendors, make up this three-day outdoor event that takes place in Berkeley, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose and San Mateo.
FoodieLand takes place over 15 times annually in various locations, which are announced each year on its website. While it is too soon to see what vendors will be attending the following locations, the festival will be visiting these locations in the next couple of months. San Jose can expect the festival to come to Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on June 9-11 and Sept. 8-10. FoodieLand will visit Berkeley at the Golden Gate Fields on Aug. 4-6, 11-12 and Oct. 6-8. The festival will also be held at Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego on Sep. 22-24.
Attendees can enjoy Egghausted — a tamagoyaki vendor that makes omelets with cartoon characters designed on them — at San Mateo’s County Event Center on May 26-28 and June 30 to July 2. Those attending Los Angeles’s nights can look forward to trying Bonanza Bakery & Cafe, a bakery known for its animal-shaped mousse cakes, at the Rose Bowl Stadium on June 23 to June 25.
Although the festival has already passed in Sacramento, having taken place on May 12-14 at Cal Expo, attendees can enjoy the festival again later this year on Sept. 1-3 and Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
One of the vendors at the most recent market in Sacramento was Ember + Clay Handcrafted Goods. According to the owner of the small business Alyssa Wirick, Ember + Clay candles are made with soy and beeswax, which are “naturally derived waxes,” as well as with essential oils that are phthalate and paraben (toxins) free.
Wirick noted that her candles are made with toxin-free products because she wanted a candle that would not harm our “developing lungs,” like “typical candles on the market” made from trillium-derived ingredients.
Tania Shahvali, a third-year UC Davis pharmaceutical chemistry major who bought a candle named “Caramel Corn Stand” from Ember + Clay, commented in an interview on the price of the candle she purchased and the company’s refill policy which incentivizes recycling.
“It was only $18 for 10oz, which is really good. It makes my whole room smell like caramel, and the company refills your candle at a discounted price if you take the jar the original candle came in so they can refill it,” Shahvali said.
Another popular stand was LobsterHaus, a grilled lobster vendor. Amanda Kim, a UC Davis alumnus who is now a special education teacher, shared her favorite food from the stand.
“Their lobster was delicious and juicy,” Kim said. “The ramen was meh so I’d opt out next time.”
However, Kim also commented on some of the less successful aspects of the event.
“Prices were way too high,” Kim said. “The lobster meal was $40 to 45. Bone marrow for just one piece was $22 to 25. Even water was $4 for a bottle.”
Despite this, Kim said she had an overall positive experience.
“Luckily, lines were relatively short for being so crowded. Wait time was maybe five to ten minutes at best,” Kim said. “[…] I’d recommend FoodieLand just for the fun atmosphere and different types of food to try.”
Another vendor in attendance was Krafttee, a crochet business that handcrafts “a limited number of each item.” At their pop-up stand, they had a variety of crocheted animals and flowers. The vendor’s stand was surrounded by crowds drawn in by how vibrant and professionally crocheted each piece looked. They had flower buckets filled with pastel-colored lilies, large sunflowers, bellflowers, tulips and many more flowers varying from $7 to $20.
Luis Ortiz, a first-year at Santa Rosa Junior College, commented on the vendor’s decision to go a step further and arrange the flowers into small bouquets.
“If you bought more than one flower, the vendor would arrange the flowers you purchased into a bouquet,” Ortiz said. “[The vendor] wrapped them in clear plastic [and tied] a pink ribbon around the stems.”
He commented on the price of the bouquet and its quality.
“It was a bit expensive,” Ortiz said. “The flowers were $38, but they are nice. The [vendor] arranged them into a bouquet and made them look real. They were made very professionally. The flowers look clean — I would recommend Krafttee and buy from them again.”
While the event can quickly become pricey, with the least expensive items on food menus being at least $13-15, FoodieLand has a wide variety of food and retail vendors for attendees to explore. The market can be a fun experience where you can try many different foods, listen to live music and enjoy free-refill drinks — just be sure to attend on a relatively cool night.
Written by: Lorena Alvarez — email@example.com